Sweet Corn Muffins Recipe photo by Taste of Home
Total Time
Prep: 10 min. Bake: 25 min.
You can mix up the batter for this simple cornbread muffin recipe with just a whisk. The resulting muffins are light and moist with a subtle touch of sweetness.

Updated: Jun. 26, 2024

A staple dish in Southern cooking, hot cornbread straight from the skillet is a quick, no-fuss way to kickstart the day. Cornbread muffins are a softer and sweeter version. Some light hand-whisking, muffin cups, and around 30 minutes of your time are all you’d usually need to prepare this recipe.

For all their simplicity, these cornbread muffins are still super versatile. They can be served as a savory side with Southern classics, from soups to chili, or eaten with honey or jam as a sweet treat. They’re at their best when still warm from the oven, but can be stored and reheated for later.

Ingredients for Cornbread Muffins

  • All-purpose flour: Adding all-purpose flour balances cornmeal’s dense abrasiveness, keeping these muffins soft and light. You wouldn’t find this flour in a traditional Southern cornbread recipe, but all-purpose flour will give these muffins their bounce and airiness. You can substitute a gluten-free flour, which closely matches conventional cornbread.
  • Sugar: Use white granulated sugar to lend a little sweetness. Avoid brown sugar, which can take the muffin’s texture into stickier cupcake territory.
  • Cornmeal: This will give your muffin its distinctive yellow color. Cornmeal can be gritty, so choose a fine-milled variety and look out for clumps. Check the odor too, as cornmeal can turn rancid and sour during storage.
  • Baking powder: Sometimes you’ll see baking powder left out of skillet-prepared cornbread, but it’s essential for giving this cornbread muffin recipe its volume.
  • Salt: Use kosher salt, if possible, to lift the savory flavors without overdoing the saltiness.
  • Eggs: Choose large eggs at room temperature to bind the dry ingredients together and lock in the moisture for longer.
  • Shortening: You can use vegetable or bacon shortening. First, melt it in the oven or microwave to make mixing easier. We prefer it here to butter because shortening traps more air as the muffin rises.
  • Milk: Regular 2% milk will do just fine for a batter. You can substitute your nut or dairy-free milk of choice. Or for a more tangy finish, some cooks will use buttermilk instead.


Step 1: Mix the dry ingredients

Combine the all-purpose flour, sugar, cornmeal flour, baking powder, and salt. Sift gently to distribute the warm cornmeal color evenly. Preheat the oven to 350°F.

Editor’s Tip: To save time, quickly melt your shortening in the oven while it preheats.

Step 2: Mix the wet ingredients

With all ingredients at room temperature, combine the eggs, melted shortening and half the milk.

Step 3: Combine the wet to the dry mixtures

Create a well in the dry mix and add the wet ingredients, working the batter just enough to break down any lumps. Add the remaining milk and stir gently, but don’t overwork the batter or it will become clumpy.

Editor’s Tip: Leave the batter at room temperature for 10 to 15 minutes to give the baking powder time to act. This leaves you with a fluffier muffin.

Step 4: Bake the muffins

Grease your muffin tray with shortening or butter. You can use paper-lined muffin cups instead for added convenience. Fill 12 cups to 3/4 full with the batter and bake for 25 to 30 minutes.

Your cornbread muffins are ready when a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean. The mix will have pulled away from the side of the cup too. Allow the muffins to cool and rest.

Cornbread Muffin Variations

  • Add spice: If your heart is set on a savory muffin, add chopped jalapenos to spice up each bite with a burst of tangy heat. Just a couple of sliced, deseeded jalapenos added to the batter will make their presence felt. For flavor without the heat, use chopped scallions instead.
  • Sweeten with honey: Add a 1/4 cup of your honey to the wet batter mixture and you’ll have a sweeter, stickier muffin with extra caramelization on the crust. You can even drizzle with more honey before serving.
  • Skip the sugar: Some people find that adding sugar to the batter takes the muffin too close to a cupcake for their palate. You can leave the sugar out without affecting the texture, and the finished product will be closer to traditional cornbread.

How to Store Cornbread Muffins

Dryness is the nemesis of cornbread, so transfer your muffins to an airtight container as soon as they’re cooled and keep at room temperature to seal in the moisture. They should be good for one to two days.

Can you freeze cornbread muffins?

Because these muffins are so quick and easy to make, they’re usually eaten while still warm from the oven. You can freeze them, however, for up to three months in an airtight container or sealable bag (to stop them from absorbing other aromas).

How do you reheat cornbread muffins?

That fresh-from-the-oven texture is such a key characteristic of cornbread muffins that they’ll always benefit from 10 minutes in a preheated oven at 350° to restore them to their prime. Wrap them in aluminum foil to prevent them from drying out.

Cornbread Muffin Tips

Why are my muffins falling apart?

If your muffins are disintegrating in your hands before you’ve had a chance to take your first bite, the most likely reasons are that you’ve either overworked your batter mix or overheated your oven (or both). Go softly during mixing, allow the batter to sit before baking, and check your oven temperature with a cook’s thermometer for an accurate reading.

What’s the difference between cornbread and cornbread muffins?

Skillet-prepared cornbread produces a heavier loaf with a distinctive crust and will often feature as a side dish during mealtimes. Cornbread muffins, by contrast, are better suited for picnics or snacks. They also bake faster and taste sweeter thanks to the addition of sugar. 

Sweet Corn Muffins

Prep Time 10 min
Cook Time 25 min
Yield 1 dozen


  • 1-1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 3/4 cup cornmeal
  • 1 tablespoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 2 large eggs, room temperature
  • 1/2 cup shortening
  • 1 cup 2% milk, divided


  1. In a bowl, combine the dry ingredients. Add eggs, shortening and 1/2 cup milk; beat for 1 minute. Add remaining milk; beat just until blended. Fill 12 paper-lined muffin cups three-fourths full. Bake at 350° until a toothpick inserted in muffin comes out clean, 25-30 minutes.

Nutrition Facts

1 muffin: 254 calories, 10g fat (3g saturated fat), 33mg cholesterol, 241mg sodium, 38g carbohydrate (18g sugars, 1g fiber), 4g protein.

I love to make cornbread and corn muffins, but often the results are not moist or sweet enough for my taste. I experimented until I came up with these light, pleasantly sweet muffins. They ended up winning a blue ribbon at our county fair. —Patty Bourne, Owings, Maryland
Recipe Creator